COTTAGE GROVE, Minn -- Park-Cottage Grove senior Caitlin Tate listens intently to her instructor, waiting to share in the discussion of Shakespeare. Caitlin's intensity being central to her success in the classroom and her recognition as a KARE-11 Academic All-Star.
"Not everybody gets recognized for this kind of thing so, I thought this was a really cool opportunity", says Caitlin. "I was very honored to say the least".
An acdemic letter winner and a representative on the school's youth advisory and college-prep councils, Caitlin says her place in advanced classes was secured by the hard work she put in as an under-classman.
Says Caitlin, "Academics are definitely a huge thing, you know? It helped me to get to the university that I always dreamed of getting into".
Caitlin plans to major in journalism at San Diego State University, where she hopes to become an actress.
"My number one plan is acting", says Caitlin. "I've always wanted to be an actress, but my backup plan is broadcasting".
Caitlin knows all about adapting. Born without her right hand, Caitlin is also the goalie and a captain for Park's girls hockey team, and it's through hockey that she feels she can influence young girls who may have something that they have to overcome.
"I want to make them the best that they can possibly be, just like my coaches did for me", says Caitlin. "I'm so thankful for them for treating me that way, and so I just want to be that way for other students out there, too."
With sunnier days in San Diego in Caitlin's long-term forecast, her playing days are numbered. But, Caitlin doesn't rule-out a return as a coach, someday.
"I've always wanted to do something in coaching as a side job", says Caitlin. "I always thought that would be pretty cool."
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